Internship number two

Six weeks after my return from Antwerp and I’m well and truly settled into my second internship of the summer: Marketing Assistant for H22 Solutions Limited, a small web design company in Nottingham. Once again, the choice of working for a small company has definitely been an enlightened one.

On my first day, Terry and I – the owner and director of H22 – headed over to the company that had been doing H22’s marketing for a handover meeting. For the next three months I’m responsible for all current marketing activities as well as coming up with some new strategies to help H22 move forward and grow. Good thing I learned so much at Pyramidion.

H22 is based in the Antenna building in Nottingham, home to a range of creative organisations, including Notts TV. Depending on who arrives first in the morning, Terry or myself grab a four-seater table in the Antenna lounge. Ever worked somewhere that serves beer? Well, now I have. There’s a lovely selection of Belgian beer to be had too. A little self-control serves well here, as does a replacement coffee first thing in the morning. The cinnamon and chocolate porridge is always a good shout too. I reckon David would quite like it.

The outside of the Antenna building
The outside of the Antenna building

My day usually kicks off with a bit of social media, although I’ve managed to automate a lot of it now: I spent a few days writing around 300 different Tweets and chucking them into a spreadsheet… Alas, it’s a necessity of the digital marketing world. Writing is much more my thing, and at H22 I’ve certainly got the opportunity to do that. As it stands, I’m pretty much writing a blog everyday. Terry suggests some topics he wants to cover, I suggest some topics I think would be good, and then the magic happens!

But while writing is fun, a bit of marketing strategy is also quite stimulating. It helps both H22 and myself too. Drawing on my experiences of working on brand messaging documents and value propositions at Pyramidion, I set to work on a messaging document for both H22 and Springwater Golf Club (a golf club H22 does the marketing for). A messaging document entails an in-depth marketing audit of the company, a competitive analysis, a market analysis, and the creation of a value proposition and tag line.

Once again, I’m having the opportunity to practice some real-life marketing. The more I do it, the more confident I feel, and the more my skills develop. Working with Terry at H22 is a great opportunity because he’s really allowed me a lot of freedom in applying the marketing strategies I want to learn more about to H22. And once again, working in a small business has really made me feel valued and respected.

Remote working means I could literally be anywhere with an internet connection
Remote working means I could literally be anywhere with an internet connection

Terry is an advocate of remote working too and if I need to stay at home for deliveries or if he’s not around on a certain day then it’s not a problem. Of course, it helps that I actually do the work. I’m also getting exposed to some personal/professional development opportunities outside of marketing: last week I attended a networking event with Terry. As someone that wants to launch their own business, this was an insightful experience and my first introduction into the world of business networking.

I’m having a great time working at H22 but I have to say, I miss my daily fussball matches in the chillout zone with David – he was just starting to get better too!

Complete, Reflect, Improve

I finally completed my masters, it has been a journey with a lot of roller coasters, some days where i felt like there was no end, and others when it flew by too quick. My placement has been a great experience, teaching me many valuable rules of life, I will be carrying on with the same job. However having to do an in-depth study with the consultancy report has given me a new way of thinking and going back with many recommendation, ideas which i will work on.  The report has also thought be how to balance work and other tasks at once. I am glad i went through this experience and been able to come out the other end smiling.

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A picture of me and my consultancy report, my proudest moment throughout the year !!

Thank you for your time Nottingham Trent University:)

Experiences Gained.

I keep talking about how this MDM has given me certain opportunities, but I cant seem to stress this enough. In one year I have undergone Two placements, I have built new relationships, I have experienced two New-experiences-featureddifferent work environment’s whilst getting paid.. In essence I feel like I was allowed to explore the options that are out there for me. I have grown in the experiences that I have gained. I now go to interviews with more confidence as I have something to talk about in terms of experience, the MDM module itself is an interesting conversation piece when you get to talking to someone and all in all I have built lasting memories and learnt lessons.

From these two placements I know my comfort zone and how far I am willing to stretch it to get something done. I have learnt that Real life is hard work (I always knew this but boy, did these placements reinforce it) and finally hard work pays off. When you do something and you put your all into it people are more willing to help you, they recall your name quicker in conversations and hopefully that’s the impact I left with both my employers.

MDM was not just a normal type of masters, the advice I have gotten from the staff all along the way not to mention the coaching techniques? Unexplainable.images

I have a work-based project to write and a reflective report in relation to my experiences and I can’t wait to look back on this in about 3 years to see how this has allowed my progression.

Graduation Week @ NTU

The most exciting time at the university has to be graduation week. The Alumni office was buzzing the week before in preparation for the new graduates. A lot goes into Graduation week behind the scenes and the alumni office plays a vital role in this.

When you graduate from Nottingham Trent University, if you sign up for an Alumni account the university gets to keep In touch with you, you get a discount card that allows you a host of benefits, you can use employability services after you graduate for some time and you are kept updated in form of a newsletter which gets sent out to you. All these are the extra benefits of signing up but on the day of graduation, a stand is set up where after graduating the students come and sign up and get a free goodie bag (Which I heard took endless hours of volunteer’s to fill up, I could not help as it was my birthday) and you can enter a “selfie” competition where you take a picture with the NTU Alumni board which you enter on Facebook.

It was amazing to see how happy the recent graduates were. How excited and happy their friends and families were too and the whole atmosphere was buzzing with laughter and happiness. I could not help but reflect on my own graduation and how I felt at that moment too and I realised I have come a long way in terms of hitting my personal achievements.

The graduates signed up, smiled had a little chat and each and every one of them had a sense of purpose when talking to them, some said they already had jobs lined up, some said they were excited to be coming back to continue, some are off traveling for a year and it went on like that for a whole week.IMG_0970I was so grateful for the opportunity to meet so many new people, to have the conversations I did while still getting the job done. I truly learnt the essence of getting the job done and having fun while doing it. The people I worked with made it look easy as they had experience under their belts and anything I had a question about I was guided in the right direction with pleasure.

Being able to do such different things in such a short time while working with Nottingham Trent has given me a new perspective of what I may want to do in the future!

Working in the Alumni Office

This certainly has to be the most stressful month for me. Its already two weeks in. Time seems to be moving at a faster speed for me. (I’m sure it’s not just me) This tends to happen when deadlines start getting closer and the little voice in my head starts panicking thinking I wont do enough in time. But I digress, my time working with NTU has been fun, engaging and most of all it has given me the opportunity to see what its like to work in a busy Alumni office.

My Duties included but were not limited to survey the sector and make recommendations for future development of the John Van Geest (JVG) social media channels, most especially on Facebook and twitter shedding light on how charities tend to fundraiseCMNgG27WsAABzRk on social media, what tends to work for some and what does not for others (So what works can be implemented to JVG). I was expected to research how Facebook uses a donate button and maybe possibly bring in ideas of mobile fundraising and how that works out for people already doing it.

Social media is an interesting topic to me. I like looking at what works, what does not, what is a marketing error and what are the innovative things others are doing on their channels. I was further asked to provide a statistical review of interactions and posts on cancer charities Facebook’s while putting forth any interesting ideas that were to come along.

The work was mostly office based and I spent most of my time doing research and building up a report. The most difficult part of this for me was the fact that I was coming from a Charity that raised funds for disadvantaged children and I was now looking into a cancer charity. It took me about 3 full days to adjust and set my plans in order but I started with coming up with an action plan and giving myself deadlines which were discussed with my Manager, this made it a smooth ride and did not add to my growing number of grey hairs.

This research took me about 2-3 weeks to do and when I finally submitted my findings I was thrilled and hopefully some of the recommendation’s that were put forth would be taken on board and I get to see my research come to life.

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Working in the alumni office you get to meet a lot of new and interesting people. Which is how I managed to somehow sign myself up for Graduation week at Trent. This entailed getting the recent graduates to sign up to the Alumni so Trent could keep in touch after they graduate.

More on that next!

Think, reflect, write and refresh

future-vision

I get it! I finally see the point of a reflective report, although I find writing my weakness, as I am more of a practical and visual learner, it is a fact that it is the high content rather than the big words that is needed.

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Seeing the vision and believing the vision is two different aspects, I am starting to see how both could meet my own needs of benefit in the future.

The consultancy report is not just a written document but a guide for the future, how I can start to relate my source to the facts, although majority of the time my attitude says “I know all of this, why do I need to research and prove everything, when I can just get started”.

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Things may make sense in my head however when I am not around if someone else has to cover the work , and for the team to be on the same platform, a guide to how I seeing my vision, having it broken down into steps, it is easy to just let another member read and understand to their own knowledge. Also strategically understanding the steps, being more professional and talking in the term of business, I can see this report improving my maturity to how I approach decisions. It’s a key learning almost feels as now to say I am so happy to have chosen the subjects I did for my masters. Although I will still say I do not like writing, it is worth it. This week I have learnt to put together a more sustained efficient marketing strategy for the company, which would be very beneficial if it’s done in the right way. I feel excited to see where this report will take me. Right now I am re working on the company marketing mix, pestle analyses alongside producing targets to achieve, it is great to see member at work are also excited about reading this report.

Goodbye Antwerp!

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I sit on the Eurostar as I write this, speeding back to the UK at 186mph. My two months in Antwerp are up. I’ve had great fun riding around this ancient city on my €30 bike, which I’ve given to David – his bike is a bit of a tank. Not to mention that it threw him off last week, causing him to break both his elbows. I was asked to stay here for an extra month or two, but it seems David’s elbows aren’t broken as badly as the doctor’s first thought and he’ll back at work in no time. Lucky him, poor me!

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My trusty bike resting its wheels along the Scheldt River

Being at Pyramidion has allowed me to be immersed in an environment where everyone is a writer, and everyone gives each other feedback and comments on what they write. As a result, there is no doubt that I’ve developed as a writer. Being able to see what writers with over 20 years experience have to say about what you’ve written, editing it here and editing it there, allows you to see your own writing from a new point of view and learn in the process. I’ve picked up good habits such as not capitalising every word in a headline, never ending a PR on a quote and seeing how something you thought was clear, concise and punchy can be made clearer, more concise and even punchier!

I’ve been able to try my hand at marketing strategy and branding – something I wasn’t sure if I liked or not before coming to Pyramidion. Well, I found it was a fun, creative process that gave me the freedom to get some real, non-theory marketing practice. Personally, I thought I was pretty good at it too and I now know this is something I want to do in my future.

In terms of being able to network and socialise successfully – because they really are skills that need to be developed – there’s nothing like not knowing a single soul in a city and having to make friends with strangers to develop your networking and communication skills! Especially when they may not necessarily understand every word you say. Of course, it helps having a bunch of work colleagues that are pretty down to earth…

The completed chill out zone!
The completed chill out zone!

And then there’s the focus on my work-based project – my final masters thesis – that being at Pyramidion has allowed me to develop. Going back to the UK and facing the prospect of working full-time (another internship, yay!) and writing this project over the next three months is no longer daunting. I’ve managed to find a clear focus through the research I’ve already done. I know what kind of questions I am going to ask, who I am going to ask and how long it will take to get results. Not to mention the fact that I already have some responses that I can use from Pyramidion. I might even venture that I’m looking forward to writing this thing…

A piece of wall art from the ground floor of my favourite coffee shop
The entrance my favourite coffee shop

I have learned an immense amount about writing, marketing and what I want to do in the future by working at Pyramidion. I’ve had the chance to work and live abroad – something I’ve always dreamed of. In a couple of months I’ll be going back to Antwerp and traveling to the High Tech Campus in the Netherlands to present the results of my research in front of an audience of businesses – an opportunity I am truly grateful for.

Safe to say this has been, and will probably stay, the highlight of my MDM course.